The Best Chain Breaker Tools for Removing Chain Links
Replacing a broken bicycle chain is more effortless if one has the best chain breaker tool in hand. Chains are the driving force of bicycles, allowing the rider to transmit leg power to the rear wheel. Unfortunately, bike chains are not impervious to wear. They can break, get bent, or lose the pin that connects two chain links.
While chain breakers are a simple tool, many products on the market fail to meet bicycle owners’ expectations. Some breakers do not consistently drive the chain pin straight through its slot, while others are sloppy or weak. That is why bikers must choose the right tool to add to their bike repair kit.
We determined the following factors crucial in choosing the right possible chain breaker bike owners should buy.
- Compatibility: No chain breaker works on all bicycle chain system types. Many chain breakers work only with Shimano and SRAM products because of the two systems’ similar characteristics. Some products can also accommodate a limited chain link size, while others have a universal design.
- Ease of Use: What is the point of buying a chain breaker if it is difficult to operate? A chain breaker’s ease of use is a function of its overall design. The different components must work seamlessly together to make it easier for the biker to remove chain pins and replace the links.
- Construction: Ideally, the tool’s pushpin must never break under pressure. That is why it would be best to look at the product’s overall construction to determine its strength and durability. In general, all-steel construction is better than composites; although some companies use aluminum and steel alloys.
Other factors are also important when buying a chain breaker tool. We shall discuss these additional parameters in our comprehensive buying guide while presenting them in the following product reviews
A bicycle chain breaker tool is a simple device that helps people remove the metal pin connecting two bike chain links. It may seem a straightforward process, but the inherent chain design makes rivet removal difficult without the correct tool. That is why it is best for bicycle owners to have a chain breaker in their toolbox.
Here are some of the factors one must consider when buying a chain breaker.
Although chain breakers perform the same function, no single product can accommodate all bike chain sizes and groupset types. Most products can only sit several sizes of bike chains on the breaker block or shelf.
For example, a chain breaker may only accept Shimano and SRAM groupsets, but not Campagnolo speed chains. The reason here is that Campagnolo chains have a greater width than the two other systems. Hence, a Shimano 12–speed may already be equivalent to a Campagnolo 11–speed, give or take a few millimeters. Some products also accommodate a 12–speed chain, but not an 11–speed.
That is why buyers must read the product specifications carefully, ensuring it is compatible with their bicycle’s chain system. Otherwise, they will only waste money on something they will not use.
Ease of Use
A chain breaker’s ease of operation is a function of its design. A well–crafted and thoughtfully designed chain breaker will make it effortless to use.
For instance, the handle’s grip and lever length are two crucial factors determining a chain breaker’s hassle–free operation. The handle must be comfortable to hold and not slip off the hand. Meanwhile, the lever must be sufficiently long to reduce the force required to turn the pushpin through the chainplates and peg.
It would also be great if the chain breaker has a groove for checking how far the pushpin has advanced through the slot.
In general, an all–metal construction guarantees durability and strength. Unfortunately, these products are often heavy and unwieldy. On the other hand, alloys provide an excellent balance between lightweight and strength. Some products also come with aluminum construction, while others feature high–carbon steel.
We recommend researching the pros and cons of each material to help buyers decide which product is best for them. Buyers must know that high–density, high–quality materials often command a high price.
Chain breaker manufacturers continue to outdo each other by adding excellent features to their products. It would be wise to examine each extra attribute to determine if it adds value to the purchase.
For example, some products come with other bike chain repair tools, such as a chain gauge, link plier, hook, bonus pushpins, and extra chain links. Companies can also integrate more subtle features in their products, including a ring or carabiner slot and a hidden compartment for small tools.
Others may design their chain breakers with a secondary shelf for loosening super–tight chains.
Several factors can determine a chain breaker’s price. For instance, some online retailers offer exceptional discounts to entice customers. Amazon and leading e–commerce sites are always available to give customers a great bargain.
Location can also impact a chain breaker’s price. For example, if Canadians want to buy a chain breaker tool Canadian Tire will be a no–brainer.
It would be best to check the product’s construction, compatibility, ease of use, and extra features to assess its overall value against the price.
Are All Chain Breakers the Same
All chain breakers are the same because they serve the same purpose – push the metal pin or rivet that connects two pairs of outer and inner plates that form a single chain link. This tool can also drive a new chain pin or when replacing the chainplates.
While the function is the same across all chain breaker types, they differ in their rivet size compatibility, pin design, tool size, price, and inherent features. For example, a 5-speed chain is wider than a 7-speed chain.
That is why bicycle owners must have excellent knowledge of their bike’s chaining before shopping for a bike chain breaker tool. Of course, find out more useful tools that are really necessary for your bike because there will be cases where you will need them. Such as bike cable cutters, bike degreasers and bike chain cleaners.
Do I Need a Chain Breaker Tool
A chain breaker tool is a must-have for any bicycle owner or anyone who has a vehicle with a chain drivetrain.
While it is possible to disconnect the links without special tools, the process can be intimidating. There is also the risk of damaging the chain, prompting the owner to buy a new one.
How Do You Break a Chain Without a Tool
It is possible to break a chain without a tool using three things: a solid block with a small hole for positioning the chain link, a thin nail for pushing the chain rivet without getting lodged into the plates, and a hammer for driving the nail.
Place the chain link on a solid block, preferably a small nut, ensuring the rivet is over the nut’s hole. The hole must be big enough for the pin to pass through but small enough to prevent the plates from bending.
Position the nail on the chain pin’s flat surface before hammering it down. It would be best to carefully tap the rivet until it comes out on the opposite side. However, be cautious not to push the pin too much so that it falls off. It should still connect to the other side’s outer chainplate.
Slowly wiggle the chain to free it from its connection.
The best chain breaker tool is perfect for repairing broken bike chains and other essential components. It fits the chain specific to a person’s bicycle groupset. The tool is also sturdy, reliable, durable, and effortless to use.
While not necessary, it would be best if the device also features other functions, such as a chain pin breaker, chain gauge, hook, and chain link pliers.
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